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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category


Earth Hour

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

earthhour_logo_large.jpg

On March 29, 2008, cities across Canada, and around the world will turn off their lights for Earth Hour, a WWF event to raise awareness about climate change and symbolize that, working together the people of the world can make a difference in the fight against climate change.

Earth Hour has grown from a single event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 to a global phenomenon that will occur across six continents and in as many as 20 cities in 2008.

Toronto was the flagship Canadian city to commemorate Earth Hour 2008 but dozens of others including Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal have already joined!

The goal is to get thousands of businesses and individuals to participate in this historic event, so we can show the nation and the world that Canadians are leaders in addressing climate change, one of the most critical issues facing our world today.

Simple Station is doing their part – do yours too!

Curiousity vs. Mediocrity

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

A very interesting clip from Seth Godin (marketing guru) on curiosity. A lot of it has to do with noise pollution – and the lack of curiosity being rewarded in the modern world.

“It is easy to underestimate how difficult it is for people to become curious. That for 7, 10, 15 years of school you are required to not be curious.” – Seth Godin

CommandShift3

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

No it’s not some a keystroke in Microsoft Word, it’s a website where you can rate websites against one another. Think “Hot or Not” but with more of a web design focus.

Link: CommandShift3

Free Rice

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

For each word you get right they donate 20 grains of rice through the United Nations to help end world hunger. Apparently this site is doing quite a bit for raising literacy rates in American public schools while also contributing to a worthy cause. The program is made possible by advertisers who pay to have their marketing material displayed on the site.

www.freerice.com

Zero Emissions No Noise

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

Today I was browsing through websites looking at innovative electric cars when I came across the Zenn (Zero Emissions No Noise). The car is built right here in Canada and was recently featured on The Rick Mercer report. I’ve never heard of the company before now and thought that it was a marvelous concept. If only it had a range of 300km and could go 100 km/hour I would definitely consider buying this enterprising little car. It sure would be great if I lived in Vancouver or Toronto, but here on the island it’s just not practical.

The Web 2.0 List

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

While I was looking for a decent project management suite that had the ability to create tasks, track tickets, and manage users I came across a few websites that have a huge list of “Web 2.0” sites. For those of you who haven’t heard of Web 2.0 yet I’d recommend checking out Wikipedia’s article on it.

Excerpt:

Advocates of the concept suggest that technologies such as weblogs, social bookmarking, wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds (and other forms of many-to-many publishing), social software, Web APIs, Web standards and online Web services imply a significant change in web usage. Source: Wikipedia

Check out the giant list of all things Web 2.0:

Reducing C02 and Saving Energy

Friday, June 15th, 2007

C02 Saver

Just finished reading a great article from the New York Times on putting energy hogs in the home on a strict low power diet!

Why should you care? Well for a start you’ll save money on your electricity bill, and secondly you will help reduce C02 emissions.

I used a Kill A Watt EZ energy meter (available online for about $25) and began measuring. My PC was continuously drawing 134 watts all night.

The more devices I checked, the worse it got. My TiVo digital video recorder was sucking down about 30 watts when it was not playing or recording a show. A Comcast digital cable set-top box made by Motorola that I tested was drawing about 40 watts. My DVD player was drawing 26 watts while idle, and my audio system — which I rarely turned off — was using 47 watts. This was in addition to the numerous power adapters and chargers, each drawing 1 or 2 watts, not to mention several other devices sipping energy to keep clocks running or to be ready to turn on at the push of a button.

… Tweaking can pay off. Annually, my desktop PC is now using 73 percent less energy — saving me $119 a year and depriving the earth of 1,405 more pounds of CO2.

Source: New York Times

The writer recommends downloading an awesome little tool called C02 Saver that is a lightweight program that manages your computer’s power usage when it’s idle, saving energy and decreasing the demand on your power utility.

We plan on using it on our PC’s within our office environment. What a great tool!

Off to ‘An Event Apart’

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

Well here I am sitting in Seattle airport just about to leave for Boston to attend An Event Apart 2007, which is an intensive 2–day web design and development conference. I’m awaiting the conference with some anticipation as I’ve been contemplating for weeks what the highlights of the conference might be. The opportunity to mix with some of the web’s greatest designers is reason enough to be excited. I’ve picked out Interface Design Juggling with Dan Cederholm and Good vs. Great Design with Cameron Moll to be my favorite picks thus far from the topics presented. I am prepared to be surprised though as many of the topics covered are going to be great additions to the knowledge arsenal here at Simple Station Inc.

I’m hoping to cover as much of the event as possible in the journal, though I’m not 100% sure how I’ll recharge my laptop during the conference. Worst come to worst there may be a few days of lag between the conference and the time when I publish my notes.

Boarding time! Boston and An Event Apart 2007 await me.

Virb goes live!

Monday, March 12th, 2007

virb.jpg

Following the tradition of spotting simple websites that I love, Virb was announced this weekend.

Virb puts all of the things that make you you — photos, videos, blogs — in one place. So you can find friends (and friends can find you).

Apparently it only takes 30 seconds to get started and signed up for an account too!

After taking a look through the site. I was really struck by the sheer beauty of it. The typography is great and I love the media player. Not only does this new social networking site boast some great features, but it also sports much cleaner code than its competitor myspace.com. One of my pet peeves with myspace is that is has introduced a whole new level of terrible coding practice and bloat to the internet. Virb certainly has the potential of cleaning this up.

Virb Media PlayerVirb’s Media Player

Favorite Websites of 2006

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

Well I sat down this weekend and thought I’d highlight a few of my favorite websites, and 2 of my favorite designers I’ve discovered this year. With all the buzz and hype of “Web 2.0″ everything, I’ve narrowed down 8 websites from 2006 that I’ve actually found useful.

Basecamp – Project Management

Basecamp Project Management

Simple project management with to-do lists, milestones, time tracking, file sharing, calendars, and more. We use Basecamp to take charge of communication, collaboration, and organization for projects big and small. The design is simple, yet effective. The book they have written titled “Getting Real” has been an eye opener in it’s approach to developing web-based applications.

Visit site: basecamphq.com

Blinksale – Online Invoicing

Blinksale Online Invoicing

The easiest way to send invoices to your clients via email. If you are entrepreneurial you’ll really appreciate the simplicity of the design behind this tool. We use Blinksale for all our invoicing and we love it. Some of our favorite features of Blinksale include:

  • Simplistic invoice creation
  • Send a Thankyou
  • Send a Reminder
  • Tracking all our open and closed invoices
  • Keeping track of our sales in a really simple format

Visit site: blinksale.com

Feedburner – Feed Management Provider

Feedburner - Feed Management

We use Feedburner to provide statistics, and formatting for our RSS feed that is generated by our blog. Over the past year Feedburner has really taken off, and we’ve been really impressed with the simple tools they provide to manage RSS feeds.

Visit site: feedburner.com

Cameron Moll – An Admirable Portfolio

Cameron Moll Portfolio

Having read a few of Cameron’s books and after taking a glance through his portfolio I’ve been really impressed by his sense of style and simplicity. His site (in particular his portfolio page) has a lot of design touches, which I find classy.

Visit site: cameronmoll.com/portfolio

Threadless – The Never-Ending Tshirt Contest

Threadless Tshirt Contest

From the first t-shirt I’ve bought I’ve been hooked. This site sets the standard for e-commerce in my opinion. The checkout process is simple, professional, and fast. In addition the mission of the company is really neat. People around the world design and submit t-shirt designs, and then the community rates them to decide what gets printed. Tshirts by the people, for the people.

Visit site: threadless.com

Facebook – Social networking for College’s and University’s

Facebook

The ‘who’s who’ for college students, Facebook is a university networking tool (you need a uni affiliated email to sign up) that allows you to keep track of your college friends using relationship tracking, degrees of separation, photo albums, specialty groups, and more.

Visit site: facebook.com

Cork’d – Wine for the Masses

Corkd - Wine Testing and Tasting

Cork’d is making life easier for wine lovers. You can catalog, rate, and review wines in your Wine journal, find out what your buddies are tasting, and discover new wines to try and buy. A one stop shop for finding a good wine, be it for a dinner party with friends, or trek on New Year’s.

Visit site: corkd.com

CSS Zen Garden – CSS Based Design

Css Zen Garden

Although this is a bit of old news – I really got into CSS based design this year, and the Zen Garden has been a prime place to find some neat design ideas, and see the code behind it.

Visit site: mezzoblue.com/zengarden/alldesigns/ or csszengarden.com

Hicks Design – Another Great Designer

Hicks Design

Yet another designer I’ve grown to admire over the past year. Jon Hicks is the owner, and has some really top-notch portfolio work. He’s done icons for some of my favorite programs such as Firefox, Thunderbird, and skEdit.

Visit site: hicksdesign.co.uk

claimID – Reclaim Your Online Identity

claimID - Reclaim your Online Identity

claimID lets you track, verify, classify, annotate, prioritize and share the information that is about you online. We use it to display what work is about us, and what is not.

Visit site: claimid.com